You might have been wondering how the underwater city of Aquataine keeps the lights on. For sure, power could be supplied by an undersea power cable. That would have to have a power source, and that would probably be on the surface somewhere. The thing is, I moved the coast of the United States back by about 150 miles (Remember, this is fiction) to Cumberland, Maryland, which is a port city in my book.
Now, it’s not impossible that an undersea power cable could be laid down to supply power, but in a totally un-scientific way, I imagined that this would have to be a rather large copper cable. That cable would be extremely heavy, which would probably help it remain in place on the sea bed. The reason I don’t use the copper cable is that in my un-scientific way, it would lose too much power through resistance of the copper itself. So, I chose to believe that copper would be impractical for delivering enough power for the city.
Option two was a copper cable delivery system that would reach to a floating solar farm directly above the city. I originally thought that a floating series of platforms could provide the solar power required to power the city, and also serve as a docking station for transportation and services. There would be a large conduit that not only would carry the power and communications lines to serve the city, but there might also be a means of getting people in and out of the dome vertically via elevators. For one, this would require a very slick means of providing an ultra-flexible and watertight seal for its connection to the dome, and for another, I worried that such a structure would be too vulnerable to stray ship and submarine traffic. So that wouldn’t work for me.
I settled on a remote underwater power generation plant that would function on underwater currents. Again, in my un-scientific approach, I anticipated that the very terrain that had one formed America’s coastline, might now be the source of underwater currents that I could now harness with an underwater system of turbines. As the currents drive the turbines, generators would crank out enormous amounts of power. This concept is similar to the hydro-electric power systems in place at dams today. I’ve also seen similar smaller systems recently that look like a small box fan that hikers can throw into a river and use the power generated to recharge their phones while on the trail. You gotta start somewhere, right?
So, I think there’s merit in the underwater turbines. A remote dome system could house the system, and inlets would draw water in, spin the turbines, turn the generators, and power would be delivered to the city by a much shorter conductive cable. Simple, right?